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This is a weekly newsletter for Gather, a project + platform to support community-minded journalists and other engagement professionals. We’d love your feedback. What's useful about this newsletter? What's missing? Let us know

In this week's newsletter:

  • ANNOUNCEMENT: Gather’s new membership platform is here!

  • JOB ALERT: Two opportunities for engagement-centered editors.

  • COMMUNITY UPDATES: Monitoring interest fatigue, engaging students, designing remote trainings, promoting your new newsletter to current subscribers, and more.

  • HOT READ: "Newsonomics: The next 48 hours could determine the fate of two of America’s largest newspaper chains."

  • INTROS: Meet Laura Hackett, the Membership and Development Coordinator for Mountain Xpress.

Join Gather’s new membership directory

When we published Gather's new website in April, we eluded to the membership feature that will deepen connections for this community. We heard from our 2019 Gather Survey that you wanted help connecting with people and keeping up with the resources on the website. 

We're thrilled to announce our new Gather Membership program! Aas a Gather member, you can:

  • Connect with an international community of engaged journalists
  • View the membership directory by region, job roles, and topics of interest
  • Access to members-only content including Lightning Chats from the past three years
  • Save favorite resources and create your collection in your profile
Because of our need to make this directory more useful to the community, we took the risk of starting anew. So, even if you signed up to our old platform, we're asking you to sign-up and offer a bit more about yourself in our new process. It takes less than 10-minutes to Sign-Up and Join the Gather Community.

(I'll pause here to let you do that.)

Back? Great. Now that you're a Gather member, I hope you'll take a few more minutes to explore our members-only features on Gather! As with most communities, the more you contribute, the richer the experience for others can be. Check out this Medium post of what to expect on the website and we’ll see you there.

Andrew DeVigal, Gather executive director

Lightning Chats

Discuss a shared challenge, brainstorm ideas for a project, or learn more about a case study! You can subscribe to a lightning chat calendar on Google calendar or on iCal. Check out the Lightning Chat archive online (login required).

Our Lightning Chat archive is back! Join Gather here to access our full archive of 51 past chats on topics such as:

Jobs, Fellowships, and Funding

Shoutout to Ellen Acconcia and Joe Amditis for posting these on Slack! Check out the #jobsandfunding Slack to see what other opportunities Gatherers are sharing.

News Editor, Carolina Public Press: “Expect to spend the majority of your time on story development, assignments, editing and production of daily editorial content. Other duties will include working on collaborations, both among internal teams and external, community and journalism-specific efforts; and content creation and reporting for and its related products.” Location: North Carolina. Deadline: Rolling; interviews begin early July 

Managing Editor, MLK50: “You’ll be the #2 on the editorial side, where you’ll manage the editorial calendar; develop and oversee publishing processes; assign and edit stories; write and edit newsletters and help manage our social media channels.” Location: Memphis, TN. Deadline: Thursday, 7/9 by 5:00pm CT

Community Updates

The Gather Slack is the thriving hub of our community, where we brainstorm together, ask for and offer advice, and connect with each other. Join here
  • Monitoring interest fatigue: What are ways to measure whether your audiences are getting tired of COVID-related coverage? Join the conversation.                                                                          
  • Engaging students: Chalkbeat recently published a student-centered project drawn from over 300 student submissions. Check it out and learn a few things they did.                                                    
  • Remote trainings: A Gatherer’s usual tactics for creating engaging, active trainings in-person just don’t translate over the internet. How are you making your trainings more interactive?                                                                                                                       
  • Promoting a new newsletter: How can you use your first newsletter to connect interested readers with a second newsletter you’re launching? Here are some ideas.                                                                                                                                      
  • Focus groups: Have you done a digital focus group since the pandemic began? Share your experience here.                                                                                                                
  • Supply vs. demand: Here’s a crystal-clear way to reframe why engagement matters in journalism: the industry focuses too much on supply, not enough on demand. Read more.

Hot Read: "Newsonomics: The next 48 hours could determine the fate of two of America’s largest newspaper chains" by Ken Doctor at NiemanLab. (This is the Gather community's most-shared story on Twitter this week. Look for other 'hot reads' in Friday's Nuzzel newsletter and in the #reads channel on the Gather Slack.)

Meet Laura Hackett, this week's Featured Member.

Name: Laura Hackett

What you do: I’m a Membership and Development Coordinator (and sometimes writer) for Mountain Xpress, a weekly print/online publication based in Asheville, North Carolina.

Why you’re on Gather: When I was first tasked with launching a membership program and overhauling the newsletter strategy at my print publication, I was super excited about the premise — but for the first few months I actually found the experience daunting and alienating. It was difficult to find folks who were working on (and grappling with) similar projects. I often felt like I was fumbling around in the dark. Then I learned about Gather and it was a complete game changer. Having the opportunity to think and create with innovative media professionals across the world is an absolute dream! It’s impacted my work in immeasurable ways. Thanks y’all.

One thing you want to learn on Gather: I’d love to sharpen my knowledge of analytics so that we can make more data-driven decisions in the newsroom. I’m also really interested in the huge cultural shifts happening in journalism — specifically in terms of DEI initiatives and solutions-focused reporting — and learning how local publications can rise to the challenges of the moment.

One thing you have to share on Gather: I’m happy to offer myself as a resource (or direct resources) to anybody who has questions about newsletter strategy and/or launching a membership program.

One thing about your work that gets you especially pumped up: I get really jazzed from quality brainstorm sessions!

Who or what inspired you to get into this work? I grew up in a journalism family... both of my parents worked in the field for 20+ years and I saw the media landscape transform from a thriving industry to one riddled with challenges. I always admired their work and saw it as an important public service. I’m proud to carry the torch!

Would you rather give up social media or coffee for a week? Social media for sure. I’m spiritually dependent on coffee.

Links for ways to connect with you. 
Twitter: @LauraFHackett

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